NUT Acting GeneralSecretary Visits Plymouth
In October Christine Blower, visited Plymouth andwas certainly kept busy. Christine spoke with NUTmembers at Plymstock School about the union’s paycampaign, visited the children of High Street Primary andaddressed public meetings at the Novotel and China House on theissue of academy and trust schools.Christine said:
“I think this is the first time I have ever visited Plymouth and it is lovely to be invited and made sowelcome!”
Public Meetings: Academy and Trust Schools
Two more public meetings were held in October, jointlyorganised by the NUT, NASUWT, ATL, UNISON andGMB. These unions are united in their concerns about theeffect of trust or academy status on the pay and workingconditions of their members and the impact on studentsand the local community.Trust and academy schools are highly controversial andhave been criticised by the
National Audit Office
House of Commons Public Accounts Committee,
MP’s Committee of Enquiry
amongst many others.One of the conclusions from the MP’s Committee of Enquiry wasthat:
“The enquiry heard repeated complaints from contributors of rushed, flawed and manipulated consultation processes with a complete disregard for their views.” and,“The governors should also investigate how to incorporate a democratic ballot for parents and teachers within the consultation process.”
Meetings at the Novotel and China House were addressed byChristine Blower, Acting General Secretary of the NUT, JoRamsey of the NASUWT Executive, Phil Smith - local Secretaryof the ATL, Neil Harrington from UNISON and Katherine Darcyof GMB. Teachers, support staff, parents, local authority staff and school nurses attended the meetings and many concerns werevoiced at the lack of consultation occurring at some schools seek-ing a change of status.
High Street Primary
Between the pay campaign and meetings about academy and trustschools, Christine still foundtime to visit a very successfulcity primary school; HighStreet. Whilst at High Street,Christine met John Pengellywho had taught her daughterwhen he worked in London.
nothing in the new performance management procedures which says that lesson grading should be used.OfSTED makes it clear that its grades should apply to the over- all work of each school.The National Union of Teachers has received assurances from OfSTED that head teachers are not required and will not be expected to use the OfSTED grades for the purposes of class- room observation. Where lesson grading is introduced in schools,NUT members should contact their union office…”
The NUT has published a PMPolicy which can be found on thewebsite:
The policy states that:
Teachers should haveno more than threeobjectives.
There should be nomore than three class-room observations forthe purposes of PM andthe evaluation of teach-ing and learning (oneobservation for PMalone) in any cycle.There should be noother “drop-ins”.
Observations and reviewsshould only be conducted bystaff with qualified teacherstatus.
Oral feedback shouldbe given as soon aspossible, and writtenfeedback within fiveworking days. No othernotes about theobservations should bekept.Please get in touch if you feel thesystem at your school isunreasonable.
Temperature too high?
temperatures might not seemtoo much of a problem at themoment, but come the spring theywill be in a number of schools.Unlike minimum workingtemperatures, there is no hard andfast legislation regarding maximumtemperatures, but this doesn’t meanthere is nothing we can do. TheWorld Health Organisationstipulates that 24°C is the maximumtemperature at which most peoplecan work before they begin toexperience ill effects. As far as theNUT is concerned, anything above26°C is too hot. This is our line inthe (hot) sand.
The Union will also support members in situations where the temperature may be below 26°C but due to other factors such as poor ventilation making working conditions intolerable.